Monday, April 30, 2007

What "Supply Side Economics" Means

Bruce Bartlett, a former Reagan official and author of the book Impostor: How George W. Bush Bankrupted America and Betrayed the Reagan Legacy, recently took issue in a New York Times op ed piece with the idea that supply-side economics justifies any form of tax cut.

According to Bartlett:

[S]upply-side economics [means] cutting marginal tax rates — the tax on each additional dollar earned . . . The original supply-siders suggested that some tax cuts, under very special circumstances, might actually raise federal revenues. . .But today it is common to hear tax cutters claim, implausibly, that all tax cuts raise revenue. Last year, President Bush said, “You cut taxes and the tax revenues increase.” . .

It’s important to remember that at the time supply-side economics came into being, Keynesian economics dominated macroeconomic thinking and economic policy in Washington. Among the beliefs held by the Keynesians of that era were these: budget deficits stimulate economic growth[. That] led to many bad economic policies. In particular. . . stagflation, that awful combination of high inflation and slow growth that bedeviled policy makers in the 1970s.

. . . supply-siders developed a new program based on tight money to stop inflation and cuts in marginal tax rates to stimulate growth. . . Kemp-Roth was intended to bring down the top statutory federal income tax rate to 50 percent from 70 percent and the bottom rate to 10 percent from 14 percent. We modeled this proposal on the Kennedy-Johnson tax cut of 1964. . . We believed that our tax plan would stimulate the economy to such a degree that the federal government would not lose $1 of revenue for every $1 of tax cut. . .

Moreover, we were adamant that only permanent cuts in marginal tax rates would stimulate the economy. We thought that temporary tax cuts, tax rebates, tax credits and such were economically worthless, and we strongly opposed them. . . . [S]upply-side economics has done its job. . . and it is time for supply-side rhetoric to go, with its . . . perversions discarded for good.

Where Bartlett’s analysis fails is in his ignorance of the evidence from several states over several years in the 1990s that tax cuts inevitably increase revenue beyond “green eyeshade” projections and that the opposite—tax increases—inevitably collect less revenue than projected. Bush, as an ex-governor, was aware of these state-modeled successes when he pushed for the federal tax cuts in 2001-04 that led to the revenue surges we enjoy today.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Republicans Are in Trouble, Will Looking to Sam’s Club Help?

The conservative Weekly Standard has found in Minnesota Gov. Tom Pawlently a savior for what ailes Republicans. Pawlenty wants the GOP to become "The party of Sam's Club."

Certainly article author Matthew Continetti paints a sobering picture of how bad it looks for the GOP:

Today Bush Republicanism is on its way out. The most successful GOP governors--Arnold Schwarzenegger in California, Rick Perry in Texas, Charlie Crist in Florida. . . emphasize certain conservative policies--low taxes most of all--but dismiss others. Meanwhile, in Washington policy circles, wonks and flacks are busy sketching out an alternative Republican agenda that combines social conservatism with an active government tailoring economic policies to help working families. [It all fits] Pawlenty's slogan--"The party of Sam's Club”. . .

Behind all this new thinking lies a political reality. Independents are moving rapidly away from the Republican party. According to the National Exit Poll, Republicans lost independent voters by a staggering 18 points in 2006. A recent Pew survey reveals Democrats have a 15-point advantage over Republicans when voters are asked the party with which they identify.

Nowhere is the Democratic advantage more clear than with voters 18 to 29 years old. . . After more than a decade of mirroring general electoral trends. . . the youth vote has veered left. In 2004, 18- to 29-year-olds went Democratic 54 percent to 45 percent. In the 2006 congressional elections, these voters went Democratic 60 percent to 38 percent, making them one of the most Democratic groups in the country--voting for the donkey at about the same levels as union members. If this youthful cohort continues to vote in similar ways as it grows older, the GOP is in serious trouble.

In trouble indeed. People who sell beer and cosmetics say folks tend to stick with their youthful choices. Maybe if younger voters shop at Sam's Club for lower prices on their Coors or Cover Girl, Republicans have a chance.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Media Watch: ABC Buries the Truth

On Monday, ABC World News Tonight reported results of a poll it had commissioned in the aftermath of Virginia Tech. Subject: gun control. In a two-minute-plus segment, ABC noted that 62% favored gun control, although responders evenly split over whether more gun control would have helped at Virginia Tech.

But according to Brit Hume on FOX the next day, ABC left out one of its poll's most newsworthy findings. Asked what lay behind the massacre, 40% said "popular culture," presumably including media concentration on violence. 35% said, "the way parents raise their children." Only 18% said, "availability of guns."

And they're off!

The first debate of the 2008 presidential campaign began with the Democrats and NBC's Brian Williams. Next week, Republicans and MSNBC's Chris Matthews. Just as NBC favors Democrats with its first team, leaving Matthews to badger the GOP, in his questioning Williams gave Hillary more chances than anyone else. I thought Hillary was terrific, until she said, "I was with the President on Afghanistan, but not when he went into Iraq." We'll see if the media picks up on that big gaffe. I suppose she may get a pass because her position is so clear (with him on Iraq then, not with him now), but maybe not.

Obama is for real. He handled a tough foreign policy question about "name our three biggest allies," mentioning China, but not calling it an ally. He first identified the EU and Japan, the correct answers, I would say. Next, one has to mention China, while qualifying that China is no ally.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

It’s Time for a Woman President

A woman will be elected president. And soon. It’s not that Clinton, with all her known baggage, is already within 4% of the leading Republican, Giuliani, in the latest election polls.

No. It’s things like a Harvard president getting fired for candidly discussing statistical data on the differences between male and female math and science scores.

And it’s stories like the annual gender pay gap wrap-up, and attribution of that gap to discrimination against women. People who believe this canard are certainly people who believe it’s time to elect a woman, and set the world rightside up.

Here are major findings of the latest gender pay gap study:

• one year out of college, women in 1994 earned 80 percent of what their male counterparts made.

• Controlling for the number of hours worked, parenthood and other factors, college-educated women still earned 12 percent less than their male peers.

• [It’s true that] engineering and computer-science majors typically command higher salaries than those with education or English degrees.

For a different take on the gender pay gap, one can read Warren Farrell’s book Why Men Earn More: The Startling Truth Behind the Pay Gap—and What Women Can Do About It. Farrell, a feminist, found that:

• women who compete for the same job often earn more than men, not less.

• women commonly prefer jobs with shorter and more flexible hours to accommodate the demands of family.

• women generally favor jobs that involve little danger, no travel and good social skills--jobs that generally pay less.

• full-time men clock an average of 45 hours a week, while women put in 42 hours; men are more than twice as likely as women to work at least 50 hours a week.

• men represent 92 percent of all occupational deaths.

In addition, consider this. Women currently make up 57% of those in college. And consider this. College graduates earn 75% more than high school graduates over a lifetime of work.

If 57% of the people in college are women, that means 14 of every 57 females in college are college graduates while their high school male graduating counterparts aren’t. The left-behind males end up earning just 57% of what a college graduate earns. It seems unfair to compare the wages of each sex without recognizing that far more women go to college, and thus earn far more over their lifetime than the males who never made it to college.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

PC Watch: On-Stage Props at Yale

Yale, which has perhaps the nation’s most famous drama school, has decided to ban guns from its on-stage plays, along with most other weapons. According to the Chicago Sun-Times, Yale’s:

dean of student affairs, Betty Trachtenberg, reacted to the Virginia Tech murders by taking decisive action: She banned all stage weapons from plays performed on campus. After protests from the drama department, she modified her decisive action to "permit the use of obviously fake weapons" such as plastic swords.

French Elections: Sarkozy v. Royal

Cilliza called the French election quite well. Royal finished a strong second, permitting him to claim good insight into French voters' intentions. Sarkozy came in first, as predicted, but the conservative would have welcomed a stronger showing, and a weaker showing for Socialist Royal. Right-wing extremist Jean-Marie Le Pen dropped 5% from his 2002 second-place showing down to 11.5%, the first time the now-78 year old has shown declining strength in a presidential election. Centerist François Bayrou's 18.5% showing makes him the kingmaker in the Round Two battle between Sarkozy and Royal. The election drew an astounding 84% of French voters to the polls--a record. Royal certainly gets credit for a part of that huge turnout--no female has ever done better in a French national election.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

French Elections, Round One Predict

According to The Washington Post’s Chris Cillizza, his “The Fix” “spends most of his time focused like a laser on American politics.” But on the day before the French election, Cillizza offers a hidden, easily-deniable prediction that Royal will surprise Sarkozy:

Sarkozy's lead in the polls could be misleading. In France public polling is notoriously unreliable. Amaya Bloch-Laine, the director of the German Marshall Fund in Paris, recently penned a blog entry on the subject. According to Bloch-Laine, recent surveys show Sarkozy with a shrinking single-digit lead over Royal, with Bayrou and Le Pen further behind.

Nobody will call Cillizza on this, if he is wrong. To me, Cillizza’s prediction, from out of nowhere and in the face of most French opinion, is just another sign of how predictibly biased U.S. media is toward the Left and Socialist females.

Let’s you and me keep score.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Backlash Times 3

Follow-up to recent blog postings:


Al-Qaeda seems determined to bring down the al-Maliki government in Iraq by killing as many people—mostly Shiites—in Baghdad as possible. They may succeed. At least 127 people died Wednesday from a car bomb at Baghdad’s Sadriyah market, the exact spot where 137 died February 3, before the surge. Al-Maliki arrested the colonel in charge—no cars were supposed to be allowed near the market after what happened in February.

According to The Times (London), al-Maliki’s action “was not enough to deter criticism . . . from both Sunnis who believe his Government is too beholden to its Shia supporters and militias and from radical Shias who object to his attempts to negotiate with Sunni leaders.”

Mass Murderer’s “Manifesto”

NBC News came under heavy criticism for having provided the megaphone for the Virginia Tech mass murderer’s from-the-grave attempt to justify his crime:

• Virginia police said they were “disappointed’’ that NBC chose to broadcast a rambling manifesto by the campus killer at Virginia Tech.

• Fox News Channel said today it would stop and other networks said they would severely limit their use.

• Some families who lost loved ones expressed their anger by cancelling appearances on NBC’s “Today.”

• The Virginia Tech administrator dealing with the victims’ families said that he wished NBC News had kept the material under wraps.


Some liberals apparently are indeed reluctant to eat their own. Sen. John Kerry, as had Ellen Goodman earlier, expressed opposition to the Imus firing. Indicating the firing went too far, Kerry said, "You know, the punishment has to fit the crime, so to speak."

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

We Knew It

Mass murderer Cho Seung-Hui apparently mailed his “manifesto” to NBC News after killing two people at Virginia Tech, and before killing another 30 plus himself. Cho earned his fame by shooting to death the largest number of people in U.S. history. In his manifesto, Cho referred to “martyrs like Eric and Dylan” — according to NBC a reference to Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, the teenagers who killed 12 students and a teacher at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colo., eight years ago this coming Friday.

In death, Cho got the fame he sought. As an aside, he made NBC even more famous. MSNBC’s Chris Matthews, in probably not his finest hour, gloated on air, “This will go down as a major chapter in NBC News history.”

Television loves this story. Mass murder. Attractive, articulate young people, many with lives snuffed out that were full of promsie. A beautiful campus. Heroes. Bureaucratic screw-ups. A small enough number of people killed that we can get to know them individually. And now the mass murderer, his details—writing, pictures, video—the villain offering stories to keep the media going for days.

Media need murderers. Sick, ignored unknowns need fame. A marriage made in hell.

Footnote: While media love this story, some liberals may not if the Virginia Tech massacre results in legislation putting the mentally ill under tighter control.

Iraq: light at the end of the tunnel?

The last two entries (here and here) presented different views on Iraq’s future. Michael Scheuer said we have lost in Iraq, and in the process we gave al-Qaeda its second major victory over a superpower (defeating the U.S.S.R. in Afghanistan was the first). For good measure, Scheuer adds we are going to lose Afghanistan as well.

Fouad Ajami, writing before Moqtada al-Sadr’s recent decision to pull his folks out of Iraq’s cabinet—a seemingly positive development—finds hope in al-Maliki’s independent effort to create a unified coalition, which would be a new milestone for Arab world democracy. Scheuer and Ajami share the view that Sunni dictatorships like Saudi Arabia and Egypt represent the past. Scheuer believes al-Qaeda will overthrow them, while Ajami feels a Shiite-led Iraq can inspire more peaceful democratic reforms elsewhere in the Middle East.

Al-Maliki needs a victory in Iraq. Securing Baghdad would be such a victory, even if violence temporarily increases in some other parts of Iraq. If Iraq is a civil war, al-Maliki needs at least his Vicksburg, if not his Atlanta. I think the U.S. can, as we have, change generals. But given the short time frame set by American domestic politics, we can’t be changing the prime minister from one chosen by a democratic process to one Americans like more. In Vietnam, we maybe made a big mistake to take Diem out. In Iraq, we are, Enshallah, stuck with al-Maliki.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Hope in Iraq

As suggested, if we want a better sense of what to do in Iraq, it makes sense to listen to Fouad Ajami, to whom PBS did talk to as part of its “America at the Crossroads” series. Ajami has recently returned from Iraq. This is what he found:

A traveler who moves between Baghdad and Washington is struck by the gloomy despair in Washington and the cautious sense of optimism in Baghdad. . . the sense of deliverance, and the hopes invested in this new security plan, are palpable. . . there can be discerned, through the acrimony, the emergence of a fragile consensus. . . Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki. . . has come into his own. He had not been a figure of the American regency in Baghdad. Steeped entirely in the Arabic language and culture, he had a been a stranger to the Americans; fate cast him on the scene when the Americans pushed aside Mr. Maliki's colleague in the Daawa Party, Prime Minister Ibrahim Jaafari. . .

Mr. Maliki had taken [Saddam’s] execution as a warrant for a new accommodation with the Sunni political class. A lifelong opponent of the Baath, he had come to the judgment that the back of the apparatus of the old regime had been broken, and that the time had come for an olive branch to those ready to accept the new political rules. . . he is increasingly independent of the diehards in his own coalition--another dividend of the high-profile executions of Saddam Hussein and three of the tyrant's principal lieutenants. He is surrounded by old associates drawn from the Daawa Party, but keeps his own counsel.

. . .the Sunnis have lost the battle for Baghdad. The great flight from Baghdad to Jordan, to Syria, to other Arab destinations, has been the flight of Baghdad's Sunni middle-class. It is they who had the means of escape, and the savings. . . [A]mong the Sunnis there is a widespread sentiment of disinheritance and loss. . . As matters stand, the Sunni Arabs are in desperate need of leaders who can call off the violence, cut a favorable deal for their community, and distance that community form the temptations and the ruin of the insurgency.. . . In their grief, the Sunni Arabs have fallen back on the most unexpected of hopes; having warred against the Americans, they now see them as redeemers.

Of the Shiites, Ajami writes:

the Shia Arabs had never governed--and Mr. Maliki and the coalition arrayed around him know their isolation in the region. This Iraqi state of which they had become the principal inheritors will have to make its way in a hostile regional landscape. . .

The Mahdi Army, more precisely the underclass of Sadr City, had won the fight for Baghdad. [Now] perhaps [it’s] time for the boys of Moqtada al-Sadr to step aside in favor of the government forces. . . There is a growing Shia unease with the Mahdi Army--and with the venality and incompetence of the Sadrists represented in the cabinet--and an increasing faith that the government and its instruments of order are the surer bet. . . To the extent that the Shia now see Iraq as their own country, their tolerance for mayhem and chaos has receded. . . It hasn't been always brilliant, this campaign waged in Iraq. . . But this current re-alignment in Iraq carries with it a gift for the possible redemption of modern Islam among the Arabs. . . A Shia-led state in Baghdad--with a strong Kurdish presence in it and a big niche for the Sunnis--can go a long way toward changing the region's terrible habits and expectations of authority and command.

Al-Qaeda: Bigger than Ever

People have their minds made up about Iraq. Facts don’t change perceptions. Readers just fit facts into pre-existing world views. In World War I, soldiers killed each other by the millions in the name of the very same Christian God. At least divided Americans aren’t killing each other yet over their differences over Iraq.

Of course I was disappointed, but not surprised, by how PBS’s latest “seminal” TV series, ”America at a Crossroads,” handled the Iraq war in its initial broadcast Sunday. They had Fouad Ajami, John Hopkins’ noted Arabist, on in the earlier, more historical part of the broadcast, but when the story reached the U.S. overthrow of Saddam, Ajami was nowhere to be found. Their preferred expert on Iraq's liberation was Michael Scheuer, the ex-CIA man who headed the analytical effort to find Osama bin Laden. Scheuer in a recent interview correctly said, “I'm not at all an expert on Iraq.” Still, Scheuer is an al-Qaeda expert who is highly critical of the Clinton administration’s non-effort to take out bin Laden. So what he says about Iraq has credibility. According to Scheuer:

the whole war effort so far has been a mistake. . . the invasion of Iraq turned Al-Qaeda and Osama bin Laden from a man and an organization into a philosophy and a movement. And now we're faced with an Islamic militancy around the world that is far greater than it was on [September 11, 2001] . . . bin Laden's goal has been to simply hurt the United States enough to force us to look at home, to take care of things here, and thereby prevent us from supporting [Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan, and Algeria] which he -- and I think the vast majority of Muslims -- regard as oppressive police states.

Once America is removed from that sort of support, Al-Qaeda intends to focus on removing those governments, eliminating Israel, and the third step, further down the road: settling scores with what the Sunni world regards as heretics in the Shi'ite part of the Islamic world. . .

I think we're defeated in Iraq. I think we're simply looking for a way to be graceful about the exit, but it's going to be very clear to our opponents in the Islamic world that they've defeated the second superpower.

They defeated the Soviet Union in Afghanistan; they've defeated us in Iraq; and it looks very likely that they'll defeat us in Afghanistan. And so Iraq, for all intents and purposes, as far as our enemies are concerned, is over. . . Al-Qaedaism is a more serious problem than we have imagined to date. And that it has much more to do with religion than anyone in power is willing to talk about.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

National Mother Pronounces on the "I-Man" Firing

From Ellen Goodman, a pretty sophisticated view of the Imus firing. She says, “Don Imus apologized with something akin to authenticity,” then focuses on the context of his language:

What do we call this? Racism, sexism, abuse, hate-mongering? All of the above and more. . .[But] Don Imus doesn't have a corner on the market on broadcast misogyny. I give you Howard Stern. Imus doesn't own the language of ho's. Have you heard Ludacris? . . .if women are the canaries in this cultural mineshaft, the official name over the mineshaft is incivility. . . more and more people [have] license to use words that were once washed out with soap, or blocked with bleeps. Sex sells, hate sells, and the combination is boffo biz.

Goodman surprises by saying, “I was not in favor of firing the I-Man
for the cultural coarseness and cruelty he shares with so many others.”

If even Goodman has trouble with the firing, you know political correctness may be coming up against some natural barrier. We’ll see.

Friday, April 13, 2007

No Imus in the Morning

This blog is covering the current version of the Salem witch trials here and here. Now Don Imus has lost his 30-year radio program, famous for the poor taste exhibited by its foul-mouthed host, for saying “some nappy-headed hos” about women who clearly weren’t, even though this New York liberal apologized for what he said repeatedly and profusely. What is going on?

Here’s what really happened. Imus lives in the liberal, multicultural world of New York entertainment. What’s cool in that world, and has been for all of Imus’ years on the radio, is black music. Blacks are the cutting edge of the culture that dominates New York radio. Imus, as a white guy, has the wrong color skin to claim that world, but the black vernacular understandably slips into his talk. He wants to be cool. He tries to be cool. So he talks black on occasion. I mean I get it, and I live 5,000 miles away.

If Imus had said about the Rutgers team, "some BAAAAD women," not only would there have been no adverse reaction, but also the team would have felt praised. Imus erred. "Ho" doesn't currently have the meaning or cache of "bad." But you get the point.

Oh, no, no, you don’t call ordinary women “hos”, and you don’t refer to the hair of a black person. Well, you can if you are black, but not if you are white. So it’s racial. Imus lost his job because of his skin color. Political correctness.

Is it fair that black men call black women “hos” and “Niggas”? Hey. I don’t make the rules. What is popular music about? It’s about pushing the envelope. The cultural coarsening of America “advances” generation by generation. Young black entertainers have to go beyond where their elder brothers are, or someone else replaces them. The older generation is shocked, but often, the older generation tunes out. Until, that is, Imus talks. Then it’s a national outrage.

Don’t do it if you are a white male. And watch out liberals. You're beginning to eat your own.

Easter 2007

I believe the West’s rejection of Christianity is complicating our ability to put Islam in proper perspective. Bernard Lewis’ correctly naming Christianity and Islam “exclusive” in that they claim to have received “God's final message to humanity” is part of the picture. The West has, of course, knocked Christianity off its “exclusive” pedestal. That’s part of the story. The secularization of the West is so recent, so fresh (in 1955, I visited a Spain and Italy politically and culturally very much under the Church’s thumb) that intellectuals, understandably, are still fighting yesterday’s war. To the elite, it’s still about being tolerant and understanding of those whose views differ from the Church’s, including Islamic terrorists.

Meanwhile, Islam’s shadow grows larger every day. Take it from Muslim Tawfik Hamid, a onetime member of the Islamist terrorist group Jemaah Islamiya, now a medical doctor and Muslim reformer. He writes:

there is much that is clearly wrong with the Islamic world. Women are stoned to death and undergo clitorectomies. Gays hang from the gallows under the approving eyes of the proponents of Shariah, the legal code of Islam. Sunni and Shia massacre each other daily in Iraq. Palestinian mothers teach 3-year-old boys and girls the ideal of martyrdom. [Yet] the non-Muslim priests of enlightenment in the West have come, actively and passively, to the Islamists' defense.

. . . I know firsthand that the inhumane teaching in Islamist ideology can transform a young, benevolent mind into that of a terrorist. . . the main tap root has a name--Salafism, or Salafi Islam, a violent, ultra-conservative version of the religion.

It is vital to grasp that traditional and even mainstream Islamic teaching accepts and promotes violence. Shariah, for example, allows apostates to be killed, permits beating women to discipline them, seeks to subjugate non-Muslims to Islam as dhimmis and justifies declaring war to do so. It exhorts good Muslims to exterminate the Jews before the "end of days." The near deafening silence of the Muslim majority against these barbaric practices is evidence enough that there is something fundamentally wrong.

. . . Political correctness among Westerners obstructs unambiguous criticism of Shariah's inhumanity. They find socioeconomic or political excuses for Islamist terrorism such as poverty, colonialism, discrimination or the existence of Israel. What incentive is there for Muslims to demand reform when Western "progressives" pave the way for Islamist barbarity?

. . . Americans demonstrate against the war in Iraq, yet decline to demonstrate against the terrorists who kidnap innocent people and behead them. Similarly, after the Madrid train bombings, millions of Spanish citizens demonstrated against their separatist organization, ETA. But once the demonstrators realized that Muslims were behind the terror attacks they suspended the demonstrations. This example sent a message to radical Islamists to continue their violent methods.

Western appease[rs] need to . . . awaken to the inhumane policies and practices of Islamists around the world. They need to realize that Islamism spells the death of liberal values.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Iraq: No Measurable Progress

Here’s our latest monthly, highly abbreviated version of the Iraq Index, published and updated twice a week by Michael O'Hanlon of the Brookings Institution:

Americans Killed in Action, Iraq (monthly average)
2003: 32
2004: 59
2005: 56
2006: 58
2007: 71
March: 75

Americans Killed in Action, Vietnam (monthly average)
1965: 128*
1966: 420
1967: 767
1968: 1140
1969: 785
* = First U.S. combat troops arrived in Vietnam, 5.3.65
Vietnam table compiled by Galen Fox using Defense Department sources.

Crude Oil Production (m. bbls./day)

Prewar Peak: 2.50
Goal: 2.10 (Revised downward, 1/07)
actual: 2.08 (3/07)

Electricity (megawatts)

Prewar: 3,958
Goal: 6,000
actual: 3,600 (3/07)

Since our last monthly report, the American KIA total rose from February's 66. Please note: the number of KIA is almost always lower than the media-reported total of American deaths, which covers all causes, including non-hostile. Our Iraq and Vietnam figures are KIA only.

Oil production and electricity output in March registered no change from February's figures.

New polling information shows high levels of Iraqi pessimism and skepticism about the war's progress.

Asked "How would you say things are going in Iraq overall these days?", Kurds said "good" over "bad" by 57% to 43%. But the newly-empowered majority Shia were split 50%-50%, and Sunnis said "bad" over "good" by 95% to 5%. Still, 58% of Iraqis polled favored a unified country over one split into regions or into three separate nations.

As to whether or not Iraqis supported the presence of coalition forces in Iraq, those polled answered in the negative by 78% to 22%.

A separate March poll asked Iraqis, "Do you believe the security situation in Iraq will get better or worse in the immediate weeks following a withdrawal of multi-national forces?" By 53% to 47%, Iraqis said things would get better if we left.